August 29, 2013

My Favorite Things + Goals: August

Wow, I cannot believe we're moving into autumn already! I feel like I say that in the intro to every.single.one. of these posts, but this year really is just flying by. Unfortunately I didn't blog very much in August, but I'm really excited about the plans in place for September!

sniffing out the favorites ;)


1.] Favorite new (tried) polish: Didn't try any new polishes that weren't indies this month! *shrug*

2.] Favorite new (tried) indie: Probably KBShimmer's You Go Ghoul! So pretty!

3.] Favorite new (UNtried) polishes: Ermmm more KBShimmer, hahaha!

4.] Favorite new polish collection: I am really excited about almost ALL of the new Zoya fall polishes!!

new technique/tip: Silk wraps are a life-saver for me at the end of the month!! Check out this handy tutorial on how to do silk wraps from my super talented and actually trained nail tech blogger friend Bee!


My favorite August post is a tie between the Milly Resort 2014 Technicolor Surfer Girl nails and the Oscar de la Renta blue nails

YOUR favey August post ('fave' as determined by page views) is my review of four of the KBShimmer core shades! Check out the post here.


August Beauty: If you're interested in some of the items I've been using and testing recently, hop on over to my 'Product Preview' post!

For my August Entertainment I've been hitting Netflix pretty hard (Orange is the New Black, Supernatural, and Damages) + enjoying some good ol' fashioned reality tv competition type shows (America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Face Off).


Favorite blogging moment/milestone: Somehow I have managed to make some incredible milestones this summer with followers!! I have MORE than a thousand 'likes' on Facebook, which is astounding, but even more exciting for me is that I have recently reached a crazy 2k on tumblr! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I can't even say thank you enough times, you crazy-cool people, you!





Now here's a new thing I'd like to add to these monthly favorite posts: goals for the next month! I think sometimes I get too stuck in the cog wheels of the blog machine; sort of like blog blog blog forever with no end in sight. Because my real goal is worldwide internet domination to keep blogging and hopefully, eventually, get to work directly with brands I love (I mean, I've been super happy and lucky to work with many many indies, but I would also love to work along with brands like Zoya, etc.), but that doesn't always give me enough tiny goals to feel satisfied about in the short term.

For September I would like to work on getting back into the habit of being more consistent, so that readers know when to expect fresh new content. That means I would like to get posts up by a certain time each day and post at least three consecutive days each week of the month of September. I also have been a little lacking with Twitter (and Googe+), but Twitter is my main focus for September!

ALSO, I love love love this post from Getting Cheeky about commenting and I think I will follow her plan: take the time to comment more frequently! I read SO many posts but I don't comment on all of them. But why? And wouldn't I want other people to comment on my posts?! [the answer is YES] So I'm going to try commenting on at least 3 posts per day (I'd like to do 5, but baby steps here people).

There's also the often dreamed about 1k followers on here that I am slowly inching towards; that's been a dream-goal of mine basically since I started because it just seems like a certain level of awesomeness that I would love to be at as an ~established blogger~, you know what I mean?! Maybe I'll get closer with some of the super awesome stuff the Digit-al Dozen has planned for the month! *rubs pretend evil beard chin*

And there you go! I'm taking an early weekend break from blogging because I will be back bloggin' away on Sunday. Now I'm curious, what were your favorite things about this month?!  

PS. I can't really remember exactly which month it was anymore (I'm like 52% sure it was this month, bad odds) BUT I did spend some time streamlining ze blog layout. So while I wasn't doing a lot of blog content, I did a lot of tiny updates to hopefully make the blog a little more polished and attractive to your eyeballs. I try not to make a huge deal about it when I update my layout because I would make changes probably every day if I had more time, but I think it looks nice!!


I always enjoy reading 'favorite things' or 'wrap up' posts because it's so fun to see what other people like & get to know them a little bit better. If you'd like to see all of the 'My Favorite Things' posts, click here!

August 28, 2013

Speed Racer: How Quickly Can you Pull Together a Polished Nail Look?!

How quickly can you pull together a polished (har har) nail look? I don't usually time myself when I'm doing my nails because it's something I do for fun in my spare time, but I recently had a bit of a time crunch! This past weekend the ladies of the Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers (MABB) had a meet-up and I realized in a rush that as a nail-focused blogger, I couldn't possibly show up with my usual mismatched, weird nail art! But because I was low on time and wanted something pretty and professional. And of course glitter. Because glitter is essential. Also when you think 'professional', you think glitter - right?! Using my Holy Grail quick-drying base and top coats, I managed a really quick layering of some beautiful, neutral polishes in less than 20 minutes - and I totally patted myself on the back about it! PS. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen a sneaky-peeky at this mani!

Manicurity | Sonoma Nail Art Roca of Tacoma over Revlon Trade Winds

Manicurity | Sonoma Nail Art Roca of Tacoma over Revlon Trade Winds

Manicurity | Sonoma Nail Art Roca of Tacoma over Revlon Trade Winds

Manicurity | Sonoma Nail Art Roca of Tacoma over Revlon Trade Winds

This is one of those manicures in which I made all of the right decisions in terms of picking colors and timing; it could have been a hot, streaky, blobby mess, but it turned out really well! Yay! I used butterLondon Nail Foundation, which dries quickly to a matte finish. Then I did one coat of Revlon Trade Winds, a sheer-ish nude that shows off just the faintest hint of VNL. Trade Winds is from the Colorstay Longwear Enamel line and has a long, flat brush with a curve at the end that made painting lightning fast! Because of the curve of brush and the light color of the polish, I didn't have to bother with clean up because the edges were pretty decent.

The easiest way for me to do all 10 fingers is as follows:
  1. Do the four main fingers on my right hand with a bare left hand, which helps avoid the stress of possibly messing up the left fingers
  2. Do the four main fingers on my left hand after the right hand has started to cure a little bit
  3. Finish by doing both the thumbs at the same time; mostly because I typically ding my thumbs if I try and do all 5 fingers on one hand at the same time
For the glittery goodness, I used the brush right from the bottle of one of Sonoma Nail Art's April Fool's polish, Tacoma Nail Art 'Roca of Tacoma'. I found it pretty easy to do a quick, messy glitter gradient at the cuticle. I was a little sad with my photos because I didn't feel like I captured how pretty this glitter really is IRL. I love the multiple squares and the tiny golden glitters, and the mix of deeper bronze and copper. Love love love!

Now I'm curious, how quickly can you do your nails? Do you time yourself or do you just paint away for fun like I do??

August 27, 2013

Product Preview: A Plethora of Products including Sirius, Neutrogena, Own, Perlier, Milani, Urban Decay, Stila, and more!

Affiliate Links Press Samples

Hey y'all! I thought it would be fun to show you a little bit of 'behind the scenes' at some of the products I'm testing and playing with right now! So this isn't so much of a "OMG, I bought all this stuff this weekend!" haul [because I definitely did NOT buy all these things at once], but rather a "Here's a look at some of the different things I've collected and have been testing over the past few months + a few new things here and there." I've got hair products, skin care, cosmetics, and nail polish! Yay! Ps. Anything below marked with an asterisk* at the end is a press sample.

L-R: Sirius Sonic Skin Care System brush, Own Skin Health Refining Moisture Night Cream*, Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser, Perlier Italian Sorbet Limone crackling body water*
  • Sirius Sonic Skin Care System - on a whim recently I suddenly felt like I needed some sort of face cleaning brush, but didn't want to drop $150+ on something that might not work for me. So I found a great deal on this Sirius brush kit on Amazon, and I like that it comes with so many different head attachments in the box. Plus I like the fact that this uses batteries because that means the second you take it out of the box, you can use it (plus I've seen so many complaints from people that are just out of luck when their Clarisonic decides to stop taking a charge because it's an internal battery, and I don't really want to spend $200ish every two years)! So far, so good - I haven't really felt like I've had that awful 'purge' period of break outs (yay!), and I do feel like my skin looks really nice (glow-ier and nice and smooth, too)!
  • Own Products Refining Moisture Night Cream (sample) - The first time I tested this cream for about 6 weeks, we didn't get along at all. But I gave it a rest for like two months and did some other things and now that I'm testing it for the second time, we're like besties!
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser - I've only been testing this for about a week or so, but so far so good! I like the creamy, lotion-y texture that doesn't make my face feel tight immediately after cleansing. I haven't used it long enough to really review it yet, though. I grabbed this one at the drugstore because Beautypedia gave it a really great rating *thumbs up*
  • Perlier Italian Sorbet Limone Crackling Body Water (sample) - This smells delicious to the point that I have to remind myself not to eat it! It's a pretty unique and fun product, also I love the refreshing green stripes on the packaging.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer, Urban Decay All Nighter Spray (travel size)
  • I used to be the biggest fangirl ever of Urban Decay Primer Potion, but the formula of the newer squeeze tube packaging doesn't have the same fluffy, mousey texture the genie bottle packaging had - and somehow doesn't work at all for me :-/ The Milani Eyeshadow Primer was recommended to me as being similar in staying and anti-creasing power as the old school style UDPP. I've been using it with mixed results (one day it will be great, one day patchy, etc.), so I can't say that I do or don't like it quite yet, but it is giving me a little bit of hope that I could maybe wear eyeshadow in the future [I had been sticking with the UD waterproof eyeshadow pencils smudged along my lashes all summer].
  • I never thought that I could look 'attractively' dewey, but this spray totally keeps my makeup on, while looking pretty and natural! I'm using a travel size bottle of the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray and I like it a lot (soo much more than setting with powder), but sometimes the spray cap gets stuck and doesn't actually spray me with anything :( I don't know if that's just my bottle, or the travel size, or something that could happen with the full sized version?!

NISIM f.a.s.t. shampoo & conditioner*, Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Lotion
  • F.A.S.T. Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioner (sample) - I never ever thought that products that claim they make your hair faster would actually work because it's usually always "Just be patient!" or "Eat the right things!" or "Want your hair to grow? Cut it off!" and I'm all mehhh. I've been lazily growing my hair out for like 2 years now, but I'm not like sitting around everyday sulking about my hair growing out - more like letting it grow out for fun without a specific goal length. Anyhoo, I do really think that this duo has really been a great catalyst for reaching new lengths with my curly tresses! I will do a review with more photographic evidence in the near-ish future, but I'm only half way through the shampoo right now. 
  • Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Lotion - smells like delicious lemony pie filling, nom nom nom! I had been using mousse for a really long time, trying to use up some hair products that are just hanging around in my house, but I realized it was really drying out my hair (specifically my poor ombre-damaged ends). This curl lotion came recommended from my lovely Mom, another curly girl, and I would have to agree this is a pretty great curly product from the few times I've used it! If you're a strict Curly Girl Method user, I don't think this lotion is "allowed". I'm on a modified CG routine, so I am a little less strict than some people. This brand has a TON of products and I want to try almost all of them - especially the oil products, because I feel like my hair would probably like an oil because it loooovesss conditioner.

clockwise from top: Maybelline Neon Baby Lips Pink Shock and Strike a Rose, mini Wet n Wild lippie haul from Rite-Aid, and an eBay lot of Nyx slim lip liner pencils

Lips lips lips lips lips!!! Revlon Lip Butters sucked me in, and now my favorite thing is finding little drugstore-priced lippie gems! I am SO happy I found the perfect eBay lot of Nyx slim lip liner pencils (bottom left of collage) with ALL of the fun orange shades you can't get at Ulta since I'm obsessed with oranges and corals this summer! If you're interested in me reviewing any of these, please let me know!

Stila In The Garden eyeshadow palette
 Remember when I was going to get this stila In the Garden Eye Shadow Palette during the Ulta 20% off coupon craziness?! Well, I found an even better deal on this palette on Amazon! Technically I got this for 'free' because I used a gift card, but marked down to $21 from $40 is a really fantastic deal! So far I've only used a couple of the shades, but what I really like about this palette is the mix of colors all in one place. The eyeliner is really nice, too! Pigmented, sparkly, and smooth - the beautiful trifecta :D

clockwise from top: KBShimmer sale haul, Anne Kathleen polishes*,  Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted (next to a mini Dollish Polish Putting on the Ritzzzz)
And of course, some nail polish! I have been extremely well behaved lately with my nail polish purchasing habits, so this is my first real splurge in a long time - 6 KBShimmer polishes on sale!! I also grabbed a bottle of the clear-based Maybelline Color Show polka dot glitter topper - Clearly Spotted because I am forever searching for something similar to Dollish Polish's Putting on the Ritzzz (I like the black and white glitter without bars the most, because I am weird). The two Anne Kathleen polishes are from a new-to-the-scene indie brand that I am really excited to review!

Have any of these products caught your attention? Which products would you like me to review?! Do you put your products through rigorous testing before reviewing, too?? 

August 20, 2013

KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Press Sample

The weather has been surprisingly cool for August here in Atlanta lately, so these Fall 2013 KBShimmer polishes are a perfect match for the breezy weather! I have 3 of the 7 new polishes that will be available September 1st to share with you today. The description for this collection says that it's KBShimmer's most diverse collection yet, and I totally agree! Check out my swatches of Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul! below.

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

I swatched everything with butterLodon's Nail Foundation as my base coat (fave base coat 4evar, have you heard me write about it enough yet?!) and Zoya Armor top coat if you're curious! They're arranged in alphabetical order for easy sorting, too. The formula on all of the polishes was EXCELLENT, as expected for KBShimmer, and I had no problems painting - in fact it is so good that sometimes it feels like there is almost too much glitter (blasphemy, I know). All photos were taken in indirect Ott Lite ("natural"), except where stated as different in the caption.

Turbulence is a "a satin matte finish slate gray polish inspired by storm clouds.  Silver flakes are surrounded by micro blue and fuchsia sparks inspired by lightning and rain." I adore the shimmery flakies in this, it's so pretty! I'm a sucker for this shade of grey, so I'm a big fan. It built up in 3 thin coats for me over bL's Nail Foundation base coat. I found the shimmer to be a little more apparent with top coat, but I love this polish both in its native satin finish and shiny. First is 3 coats of Turbulence over bL's Nail Foundation.
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

And then with top coat! I used Zoya Armor top coat, and I think it looks equally stunning both glossy and matte. I felt like IRL the flakies and shimmer were more obvious once it was topcoat'd
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!


Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

And then I layered just 1 coat of Turbulence over 2 thin coats of Orly Decoded, one of my very favorite blue-toned slate grey creme polishes. They are a perfect match - almost exactly the same color, because the photos of it layered looks the same as Turbulence built up in 3 coats.
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

You Autumn Know is a "white crelly polish loaded with fuchsia, gold, and orange glitters" and micro bar slices. It is really easy to work with and I love the layered depth when you build it up. It's also surprisingly pigmented, so it was really easy to layer!! The different sized glitters are really beautiful in this. 
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Next I layered two thin coats of You Autumn Know over OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. One coat over a solid white base is fine because the polish is loaded with glitter, but I still love the depth of it layered with two thin coats.
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

You Go Ghoul! is a "black jelly sparkles with glitters in grape, berry and orange - a polish even a witch would love" and it is SO DARN PRETTY. But I did have a hard time photographing this one - there's lots of tiny sparks and very pretty, subtle glints buried in the layers when you build it up, but if you throw a camera flash at it then it gets all washed out. So keep in mind while browsing these swatches that it looks even nicer in person!! I also couldn't manage to get a decent macro of the polish in the bottle, but I think you can see it really well in the photos.
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Then I layered just one coat of You Go Ghoul! over a solid black creme. I really love how much all the smaller glitters can sort of come out and play when there are less layers of You Go Ghoul! to look at.
Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!

Manicurity | KBShimmer Fall 2013 Swatches & Review: Turbulence, You Autumn Know, and You Go Ghoul!


Pricing & Availability

KBShimmer polishes will be available September 1st at the KBShimmer website ($8.75)

For more KBShimmer check out their FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram

Psst. FREE shipping on ALL orders over $15 at KBShimmer.com until 8/21/13 

- - - * - - -

Honestly, I love all 3 of these and just refuse to pick a favorite; they're way too different and beautiful!! The rest of the fall collection looks equally stunning and I really like the looks of Vicious Circles and Teal Another Tail.

Which of these are your favorites? Which fall polishes are you looking forward to grabbing when you become available in September?!

*I received a press sample for my honest review and swatching purposes. If you'd like to know more about my disclosure policies, please check out my disclosure page

August 16, 2013

Digit-al Dozen: That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)

This post could also potentially be titled "How I made people that care about fashion cringe by attempting to repeat the beautiful silhouette of an amazing Oscar de la Renta dress on my nails with a striper brush and shaky hands". Very sorry about this fashion friends, but it is fun to try interesting shapes with slivers of *gasp* nude nail peeking out around the edges. Please take a peek at these pretty, pretty nails below!

Manicurity | That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)

Manicurity | That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)

Manicurity | That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)

Manicurity | That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)

Manicurity | That Gorgeous Blue Oscar de la Renta Resort 2014 Gown (on mah nails)


To get the funky shapes, I first drew a straight line down the middle of each nail with a long, skinny striper brush dipped in Pure Ice French Kiss (my favorite blue, as IF I hadn't told you enough about it already). Having a straight line down the middle made it a lot easier to draw the same pattern on each side. Then I freehanded some floraly-line patterns and dots with both black acrylic paint and black polish. I was really happy with the end result and I loved the drama of the blue and black paired together, much like the dress!

Finally, don't forget to check out the other posts for today!


Yay! A super happy end to fashion week! I am SO excited about what we have in store for you with the Digit-al Dozen next month, can't wait to share it with y'all :) :)